Malaysia deports 736 Indonesian migrant workers

Malaysia deports 736 Indonesian migrant workers

Photo document of Indonesian problematic migrant workers through Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands. (ANTARA News/Mika Muhammad)

"We have understood the nature of the problem."
Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - Malaysia has in the past three days deported 736 Indonesian problematic migrant workers through Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands, a migrant worker official said.

"They have been deported by Malaysia since Wednesday until today," Ria Murni, coordinator of the Indonesian Problematic Worker Task Force for Riau Islands, said here on Friday.

She said that of the 736 workers, 19 were children. They consisted of 504 men, 232 women and 19 children, including under age ones.

"Men are now housed in the transit hall while women and their children in the trauma center (RPTC)," she added.

Ria said the transit hall and RPTC were now packed with problematic migrant workers, yet they still received maximal services.

He said that the problematic workers would be sent to their respective hometowns through Jakarta. They will be transported by Lambelu ship of the state-owned shipping firm Pelni.

Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi said last month that issues relating to Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia can be resolved through discussions.

"We have understood the nature of the problem. It has been around for a long time and can only be resolved through friendly discussions," he said after attending the ASEAN Peace and Reconciliation Council (APRC) ambassadorial meeting here last month.

Badawi noted that the two countries should step up efforts to monitor and solve the problems faced by Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia.

"Both Malaysia and Indonesia should ensure that migrant workers cross the border in line with the regulations set by the two countries," he pointed out.

"If a problem ever again arises between Indonesia and Malaysia in this area, we will solve it through peaceful negotiations and reconciliation. We do not want to fight with each other," Badawi added.

He also admitted that the boundary issue between Indonesia and Malaysia could be resolved peacefully.

"I am sure there is a boundary-related problem, but we can still resolve it in a friendly and peaceful manner," Badawi said.